Shocks and surprised are simply part of boxing. They happen and there is no way to expect them, or anticipate them. Sure there might be signs, sometimes, of what is to come but they rarely show their face at the time and when we see the signs we often have the advantage of 20-20 hindsight vision. We look at one such bout today as we take you all the way back to 1977.
July 19th 1977
Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Shuzo Yoshida (23-10-2, 12) vs Dong Kyun Yum (50-4-6, 21) II
We suspect that some of the of these semi-regular features will have some pretty recognisable names, this one doesn't. In fact from the two fighters the name of Dong Kyum Yum is the more rrecognisable, and we suspect only hardcore fans will even recognise that.
The Korean was a notable fighter in the 1970's, winning the Korea, OPBF and WBC Super Bantamweight titles during a long and successful career. Whilst there had certainly been some controversy along the way he had managed to score very notable wins over the likes of Royal Kobayashi, Spider Nemoto and Jose Cervantes. His world title reign only last 6 months but his OPBF title reign consisted of 5 defenses and spanned close to 2 years.
Shuzo Yoshida on the other hand wasn't much of a success and is certainly not someone we suspect many fans will be familiar with. In fact outside of Japanese boxing circles the number of fans who will recognise his name is tiny. His most notable win was a decision over Flipper Uehara, for the Japanese Featherweight title, but he lost in a rematch just 2 months later. That was the highlight of Yoshida's otherwise unremarkable career up to 1977.
With 9 losses from his first 34 bouts Yoshida wasn't expected to test Yum when the two men clashed the first time, in April 1977 in Korea. Yoshida however put in a good enough effort against the then WBC Super Bantamweight champion, in a non-title bout, to get a rematch with the Korean in Yokohama just 3 months later. In between the bouts Yoshida was rested, spending 3 months completely out of the ring, whilst Yum had lost his title to Wilfredo Gomez and lost a decision to Soo Hwan Hong.
We're not sure what the idea was for Yum to fight 4 times in just over 3 months but it was clear he couldn't possible be in the best of shape here. Despite that he was still expected to win against the Japanese fighter.
The first round of the bout saw Yoshida looking to create space and room, boxing at range. Yum had no issue with that and looked comfortable, he didn't throw much, not a surprise given the level of activity he had had in recent months, but he didn't look in any problems in a slow and pedestrian opening round. Yum applied pressure but didn't do much with the pressure before heading on to the back foot himself and looking to use his educated footwork.
If we're being honest round 1 was completely unremarkable.
Round 2 was much of the same early on, nothing much to talk about. Both men sticking to mostly their jabs, and happy to fight at range in a slow tempo affair. It was almost like a public spar, with neither man showing any sort of intensity. With just seconds in the round left however Yoshida caught Yum with a peach of a lefthook-straight right hand combination, dropping the Korean as the round ended. Yum went to his corner, didn't look interested as the referee counted 10 and just left the ring.
Whilst the "KO" wasn't a clean one, Yoshida had shocked the former world champion, and scored a massive upset win.
Surprisingly this was only Yum's second stoppage loss, and would turn out to be his final defeat. He bounced back with 4 wins before ending his career in 1980 with a draw against Soo Hwan Hong. As for Yoshida, he went 4-4 (4) afterwards before he retired, losing in his final bout in 1980.
This is a real oddity of a result, and finish, but on hindsight, Yum's team were likely pushing him too much too soon and it took it's toll on him.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).